Birthday Ambivalence



Today is my birthday.  I am 49. 

My birthday is always filled with ambivalence as I feel a sense of sadness because my twin brother, Mike, is no longer here on the earth with me. I miss him and regret not spending more time with him and helping him more through his difficult seasons. And strangely enough, today was my adopted parents’ wedding anniversary.  So I miss my father today, too.  I wish I could feel his hug and hear his laugh.  And I’ve lost so many relationships this last year. 

And this past year was so difficult.  Not a year I would ever want to relive.

Yet birthdays are supposed to be for celebrating.  I have much to celebrate. 

My marriage is stronger. Eddie and I have endured the storms this year and learned much about ourselves.  We have learned new communication skills and better ways to cherish one another.  We are finding that as we always knew, marriage is hard work – like all real relationships.  But we have found a more precious intimacy with each other that is bringing me much joy.

My children are doing well.  Andrew is married and has his own business.  I have watched him mature into such a strong, talented young man.  I always say he was my best birthday gift ever as he was born on Dec. 9, and I brought him home from the hospital on my birthday.  I have always been amazed at what a wonderful person he is in spite of my lack of parenting skills with a first-born child. 

His wife, Anna Laura, was a beautiful gift this year.  I couldn’t have picked a more precious daughter-in-law. I love her as one of mine.  Andrew always has the best taste! 

Kara Beth graduated from UNA last night.  Even though she finished this past summer, she “walked” last night.  She graduated summa cum laude.  A member of Phi Kappa Phi – the top academic honor society. Got her smarts from her mother! – ha.  She is now working on her Master’s degree from the University of Alabama and continues to shine there.  The best part, though, is her beautiful inside.  She helped me so much this last year by telling me I did not have to be strong for her.  I could just be real and fall apart when I needed to.  From daughter to friend. 

Elliott turned 16 last month.  He is such a tender, compassionate young man.  He puts his cheek up against mine and hugs me in the sweetest of ways. He “loves” on me every day.  What a gift from a 16 year old!  I have watched him grow up a lot this year. He is great at communicating his heart.  He has chosen some great mentors and friends. 

Nathan is my baby.  Well, I know he is 13, but he is still my baby.  It is amazing to watch his mind tick. Resourceful, intelligent, – a lot like McGyver.  The life of the party.  He also brings me such joy! 

I have the greatest friendships of my life. People who are willing to be real. 

My spiritual community is blossoming. 

I’ve found a gift this year as I began writing to express my heart.  I’ve found a great joy in writing.  Drawing aside to write is like sitting down with a close friend.  It brings me such fulfillment and pleasure. 

I am working on a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling.  Last year, I learned how much having the right tools to help others can mean.  I love being with people and I am so excited about adding another dimension to my understanding of life and people.  I am really happy to find I can still “cut the mustard” even though I feel “ancient”.

So if I am ambivalent, I guess it is okay.  Great losses and great gains. But I can’t really stop the hands of time, can I?  I grieve the losses and treasure the gains.  And I must believe that 2009 will be a better year and that God will continue His work in me.  

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Categories : Birthdays


  1. song says:

    You are my hero. You have handled things beautifully this past year, even if maybe you didn’t feel like you did. You’re an inspiration to us all. I love you!

  2. Dereise says:

    Hey Mikki, I remember you telling us about your brother when I was going to church in Florence. Thanks for sharing because at Christmas it is so heart wrenching sometimes missing the loved ones that touched out hearts the most. My mom was “Mrs. Santa”. I have those memories and then I have the ones I spent with Billy and Amanda for 29 years and all that is changed. It’s hard to hear Faith Hill’s song, “Where Are You Christmas” without falling apart but I know that God is using me in so many different ways to help others just like me. Know that I’m thinking of you and praying for you. We’ve both been through a rough year but I know that God has so much for us in the coming years. I love you, Dereise……..

  3. kathy says:

    I believe 2009 will be better for us all Mikki. The losses have been great and the gains have been costly. For me some of the lost relationships were actually only in my own perspective. When tried by the fire some were just turned to ash and didn’t have the substance I had attributed to them. This also was a great loss in my life. The greater joy however: is this: in sifting through the ashes of 2008 I have found true friends among the cinders shining brightly and only refined by the intensity of the heat. You are one of the treasures, a trophy of grace. I am so glad you were born.

  4. Betsy says:


    Someone emailed me something from Joni Ames this morning, and when I went to her site to read it, Lo and behold, there you were!! YOU LOOK GREAT!!! Love your hair!!

    I saw all the pics you have on your site and cannot beleive how the kids have grown. I bet Nathan doesn’t remember all those tater tots from McDs we ate together. LOL! I’m so glad to hear everyone is well. Where are you guys now? Where are you going to church? Are you still Pastors somewhere?

    I am still in Haleyville, working at Winston Furniture, and soon to be remarried to a wonderful man out of Russellville. All my kids have flown the coop except Matt, and he is looking for a place now. I have been doing the Praise and Worship for Bro Tommy and Sis Sandy Howard, at Faith Fellowship Church down Cherry Hill road, for a little over 2 yrs now, and love it. If you would like to see updated pics of me, the kids, and my fiance’, you can go to my myspace page:, and my email address is:

    So, I just wanted to stop by and say ‘HI!’ I hope to hear from you soon.

    Much love,
    Betsy Lawler

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